Welcome to another edition of Real Travel, last time Rahul from F5 Photography took us to India to experience some of the amazing sights. Today we are heading up to the highlands of Scotland with Gavin from Gavin Foster Photography. Sometimes holidays within the UK can be forgotten about, as we all head off to chase the sunshine. However this country is so beautiful and full of some amazing countryside and views, so it is lovely to be able to post a travel edition from our own green and pleasant land. I’m sure you will agree Gavin has captured the scenery perfectly and these images really show off what fabulous countryside we have here in the UK.
When you hear the word ‘highlands’ do you see an image of Mel Gibson with a blue face? Or that toffee with the cow on that used to stick to the roof of your mouth? For me the enigma of the wilds of the north have always seemed so very far away. We now live back in Northumberland but even still….it’s a long way to all the way up there.
Having done the holidays abroad to Morocco, Norway and Ireland in the last couple of years we had the chance to glamp it up in the beautiful village of applecross. How could we say no!
Located north of Oban you would think that the easiest way to get there is through Glasgow, well actually no, by going up the A9 to Inverness you can minimise the number of ‘hairy roads’ on route. The 6 hour drive from Newcastle was a tough one and crazy in places from Loch Carron over the tops. But when pulling in to the village it was all worth while.
The camp site is on a cracking location with the village pub only a 5min walk down the hill. Serving classic country fayre and some awesome hand pull ales, what more could you want of an evening.
The first morning my wife and I headed out for a stroll along the shore. I casually mentioned something along the lines of ‘ I wonder if up here is any good for seeing sea otters?’ I knew the Isle of Skye was but up on the mainland? not a clue. Well another 100yards along the shore I spotted a large log floating in the bay….that all of a sudden dived under the surface….yes Applecross was great for sea otters! The little fella grabbed a crab off the sea bed and came up to within 10ft of us munching away, I was blown away. Being able to see animals in their natural habitat is fantastic but to see them this close is something else!
Further round the bay was a beach labelled ‘Coral Beach’, this sounded like a col place to go for a wander. The rock outcrops and the lack of other people made it a cracking place to chill out and listen to the crawing greater black backed gulls that were plodding round. The most striking feature was how clear the water was, it felt like you could see all the way to Skye through it.
On the journey over the top of the hills from Loch Carron the views were stunning but after the first night providing such an epic sunset we thought it would be fun to head back to the top of the road and see the sun set over the islands and the sea. It was a bit of a walk to get the best spot…come on I’m a photographer I do it all the time;-) it was worth it. The view was outstanding and so was the sunset, the only recommendation I would give to other sunset hunters is to stock up on Jungle Formula…..even with the breeze the midgies were swarming!
We had a few trips out to some very cool places on the trip but on of the most memorable was to a waterfall on the road up to Gairloch. It wasn’t actually the waterfall that was the cool bit but the walk after. Having tootled up the main path to see the road heading in a straight line to…somewhere over the horizon. On our left was about 500ft of higherness. you can guess what happened next! Very very worth the exercise for the views over Loch Maree.
Some people seem to focus on their summer holidays being off to the beaches of Spain or the adventure parks of the Florida coast….you know what I had more fun in the wilds of Scotland that I could ever have catching some rays with some sangria.
Next time you are in one of your high street travel agents go check out the ones for the UK, you know what you will be surprised how cool it can be.
All Photography from Gavin at Gavin Foster Photography